Without evidence that Sir Ming has both the ability and the will to win, his youthful supporters such as the very able Nick Clegg may need to start preparing contingency plans.
- the odds on Clegg shortened to make him even more favoured than Oaten at one point.
Yet no denial from the camp Clegg, which is strange, Sherlock might say. Not even a Heseltine style non-denial, denial. The feeling in camp Clegg is that basically he’s snookered by Ming. But Guido also hears that there may be a shot out of this: Newsnight producers are considering the idea of another Luntz style focus group on LibDem candidates but including Nick Clegg.
The Hudson Institute received a $60,000 grant from Monsanto which was passed on to Fumento. Last week Fumento wrote that Monsanto has about 30 products in the pipeline that will aid farmers “but also help us all by keeping prices down and allowing more crops to be grown on less land.” He said he was only writing about Monsanto “because their annual report was plopped onto my lap while I was hunting for a column idea.” Monsanto have apparently developed genetically modified pigs capable of flight.
The Times is exposing the links between big business and political lobbyists using All Party Parliamentary Groups to front for their interest. How long before a British columnist and wonk who writes for and fronts for interests who support him financially is exposed? (It’s not Irwin Stelzer who coincidentally happens to be a senior fellow at the respected Hudson Institute as well as Murdoch’s emmissary to Blair.)
If Ming fails to shine, the fear of a Hughes victory will motivate them to do what looks increasingly necessary. Clegg’s odds have closed in again today from 70/1 to 26/1. Basically this weekend is the last realistic chance the Young Turks have to get Ming to step aside before nominations close Wednesday week.
UPDATE :Guido is a political anorak, but even for me that was just such a yawn. No gaffes, no low blows. Oaten at least got a little animated and said something distinctive. Ming seemed embalmed, Huhne is like political valium and Hughes played the same old record. “None of the above” looks the best option. See for yourself Sky video.
Dr Crippen and Guido suspect it is, sadly, a little bit of optimistic of the Ming spinners to claim “complete remission”. 45% survive is the acturial hard reality of the situation. More fatal to Ming’s leadership ambitions will be his performance on Wednesday at PMQs. Any repeat of the nervous performance of last week will be terminal for his political life. Guido is consistently told that Clegg as well as Ed Davey both wish to be relieved from their commitment to Ming made when his coronation looked likely.
Many LibDem activists faced with the existing leadership candidates are thinking none of the above. If proud Ming mangles his performance at PMQs again, it seems possible that he may cite health reasons and withdraw his candidature, rather than the face the probable humiliation which he looks unexpectedly likely to suffer. Expect Clegg to declare in those circumstances, despite his prior protestations about experience over youth in the Indy. Two more PMQs remain before nominations close on Wednesday week at 4pm. Clegg and Davey would face no problems getting the requisite nominations in the event that Ming falters.
If Dave Were President He’d Have Resigned By Now | Alex Wickham
Loongate: What Happened in the Blue Boar Bar | Simon Walters
Feldman’s Tennis Days With Dave | Telegraph
How Geoffrey Howe Has Lost the Debate | Robin Shepherd
Dave Has Lost Control on Europe | Geoffrey Howe
Lib Dems Should Support EU Referendum | LibDemVoice
Feldman’s Denial | Fraser Nelson
Obama’s Presidency is Imploding | Nile Gardiner
Miliband Could Be a Great PM | Thomas Pascoe
What Are You Really Paying in Income Tax? | TPA
Galloway’s Mad Month | The Commentator
Tom Harris bemoans the public’s attitude to politicians…
“Mr Oborne echoes the lazy, anti-politics whine we hear so often these days, all based on the absurd notion that politicians were once loved and only fell out of public favour during the expenses scandal. He should take a walk to the Strangers’ Bar. But not to sup with the patrons he seems to despise so much, dearie me, no; he should instead look at the paintings on the corridor outside the bar, which depict the devastating fire which consumed most of the Palace in 1834. And he should reflect on the fact that on that dramatic night, as the Commons went up in flames, a crowd gathered on the South Bank to clap and cheer.”
The thing that Dave needs to work out is which group is more likely to vote Conservative. Mad swivel-eyed loons or mad homosexuals wishing to get married.